Master of Education (M.Ed.) with a Concentration in Couples and Family Counseling
Virginia Commonwealth University, School of Education
Full time, Part time
USD 8,025 / per semester *
Earliest start date
* in-state Virginia resident, full-time fee (9-15 credits)
The M.Ed. in Counselor Education with a concentration in couples and family counseling is a 60-credit-hour program designed to prepare students for careers as counselors in clinics, health care centers, schools and private practice. The program focuses on training to address a range of personal and professional problems faced by individuals, couples and families through a systemic framework. The course sequence meets the educational requirements for both the licensed professional counselor and licensed marriage and family therapist as set by the state of Virginia Department of Health Professions.
The couples and family counseling concentration meets the licensure requirements for other states, however certain states have different requirements. It is the responsibility of the student to check with the state licensure board to verify the necessary requirements to be eligible for licensure and to plan on meeting those requirements. The program requires a minimum of two years of study to complete.
The faculty makes every effort to assist students in individualizing a graduate program to match their professional needs and interests. However, individualization takes place in an environment of legitimate constraints revolving around institutional, accreditation and licensure requirements. Faculty members view each program as more than simply an aggregate of courses, and students should plan all program work with their faculty advisers.
Program Core (33 credit hours)
- CLED 600 – Professional Orientation and Ethical Practice in Counseling
- CLED 601 – Theories of Counseling
- CLED 602 – Techniques of Counseling
- CLED 603 – Group Procedures in Counseling
- CLED 605 – Career Information and Exploration
- CLED 606 – Assessment Techniques for Counselors
- CLED 607 – Multicultural Counseling in Educational Settings
- CLED 612 – Seminar in Counseling
- CLED 640 – Marriage, Couple, and Family Counseling
- CLED 650 – Addiction Counseling
- CLED 660 – Mental Disorders, Diagnosis and Treatment Planning
Concentration Courses (21 credit hours)
- CLED 644 – Sexuality Counseling
- CLED 645 – Couples Counseling
- CLED 641 – Advanced Family Counseling
- CLED 609 – Practicum: Couple and Family Counseling
- CLED 672 – Internship: Couple and Family Counseling (six credits)
Foundation of Education Courses (6 credit hours)
- CLED/EDUS 615 – Lifespan Development: A Gender Perspective
- EDUS 660 – Research Methods in Education
A final, comprehensive examination is required of all degree candidates. In order to be eligible to take the comprehensive exam, students must have completed CLED/EDUS 615 and EDUS 660 and all counseling core courses (excluding Practicum and Internship). Students are exempt from these requirements if they are graduating in the semester in which the exam is given. Students must be enrolled during the semester in which they take the exam.
The comprehensive exam is a nationally standardized exam for counselors-in-training. It consists of 160 questions. There are 20 items in each of the following areas:
- Human growth and development: studies that provide an understanding of the nature and needs of individuals at all developmental levels.
- Social and cultural foundations: studies that provide an understanding of issues and trends in a multicultural and diverse society.
- Helping relationships: studies that provide an understanding of counseling and consultation processes (Theories and Techniques).
- Group work: studies that provide an understanding of group development, dynamics, counseling theories, group counseling methods and skills, and other group work approaches.
- Career and lifestyle development: studies that provide an understanding of career development and related life factors.
- Appraisal: studies that provide an understanding of individual and group approaches to assessment and evaluation.
- Research and program evaluation: studies that provide an understanding of types of research methods, basic statistics, and ethical and legal considerations in research.
- Professional orientation and ethics: studies that provide an understanding of all aspects of professional functioning including history, roles, organizational structures, ethics, standards and credentialing (based on the ACA Code of Ethics).
The comprehensive exam is given two times per year: on the first Saturday in October and on the third Saturday in March (dates are subject to change if there is a conflict with university holidays).
Counselor education core outcomes
- Students will obtain theoretical knowledge grounded in research and reflective of current national and state standards in the areas of individual and group counseling, human development, multicultural counseling, wellness, and career counseling.
- Students will develop the skills and knowledge to support and enhance students’ and clients’ resiliency from a multicultural framework.
- Students will demonstrate the knowledge and skills to be critical consumers of research in their roles as counselors.
- Students will develop and demonstrate advocacy, social justice and leadership skills through their professional development and extracurricular learning activities.
- Students will continue their personal and professional development by adhering to the professional ethical codes of professional counseling organizations and the counselor education program dispositions.
Couples and family counseling concentration specific outcome
- Students will demonstrate competency in counseling, assessment, program evaluation and consultation skills in community, couples and family settings.